There will be two Canadians sprinting for gold in the men’s 200-meter final at the Olympics.
Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown burned the track inside the Olympic Stadium on a scorching night in Tokyo to win seats for Wednesday night’s final.
De Grasse finished in 19.73 seconds, winning his race on Tuesday with a new personal best that also set a Canadian record.
Brown, who looked fluid and confident in his run earlier in the day, won his race in 19.99, the season’s best time for the sprinter.
The temperature is soaring in the Olympic stadium
Heat and humidity was a story on the track throughout the early days of competition with temperatures reaching nearly 40 Â° C. There was no wind and 70% humidity as the sprinters entered the track Tuesday evening.
De Grasse, of Markham, Ont., Was pushed mentally and physically during his first five sprints in Tokyo. Not only did he battle scorching conditions, but he also had to endure five false starts during his races.
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âI’m focused. My coach just told me to react, to listen to the cannon,â said De Grasse after his first run of the Games.
“He said to me, ‘Your high end [first part of the race] is there. [You] you just gotta really hang out with everyone and the race is yours. ‘”
De Grasse is the only sprinter remaining in the men’s 200-meter final who competes in both the 100-meter and 200-meter events.
Days earlier, he had sprinted to a personal best 9.89 seconds to win bronze in the men’s 100 meters.
He got his fourth Olympic medal.
âFor me, it’s an incredible moment,â he told CBC Sports after the race.
âLast year I never thought we would be here in Tokyo. And getting back on the podium is amazing.â
De Grasse became the first Canadian to win three track medals at the Rio 2016 Games, when he won silver in the 200m behind Usain Bolt, as well as bronze in the 100m and 4x100m relay.
The 26-year-old is eight for eight when it comes to the world events he’s been to – one medal every time.
“I want to give myself the best chance”
Brown, 29, decided not to compete in the 100m in Tokyo so he could focus on his strongest distance, the 200m, with cooler legs.
âI really think I gave myself the best chance of getting on the podium in the 200 by forgoing the 100,â he told CBC Sports earlier today.
“Don’t try to disperse me too much like I did [at 2019 worlds in] Doha. I’ll double down in the future so it’s not like I’m done with the 100 forever, but I really want to give myself the best chance here, âsaid Brown.
In Rio five years ago, Brown placed 16th in the 200m and 31st in the 100m.
The two Canadians sprint for the podium Wednesday evening in Tokyo, Wednesday morning back in Canada.